Catching potential health hazards early can help prevent a chronic illness down the road. Staying on top of screenings and tests is one of the best ways to do that.
Why women's health screening matters
"No matter your age, every woman should get the basics tested," said Patricia McFall Calhoun, MD, a family physician with Baptist Primary Care. "At a minimum, annual screenings should include height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, a tobacco use assessment, a depression screening, and an update of your family history. These basic screenings serve as a barometer of your overall health."
Dr. Calhoun recommended women have an OB/GYN and a primary care physician.
"Many women think that an annual OB/GYN exam means they don't need to see a primary care physician. You should have both because each has a unique perspective and is trained to notice different aspects of your health."
Additional tests to consider
Your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings based on your family history or other risk factors.
"Remember, everyone is different," Dr. Calhoun said. "So be sure to consult your physician about which other individualized screenings are right for you."
The top women's health screenings by age
In addition to the basics, here are some screenings you should have depending on your age.
Talk to your primary care doctor
Your primary care physician is your best resource to evaluate your overall health and make referrals for specialists, if needed. If you're looking for a primary care physician who is right for you, call 904.202.4YOU (4968) or fill out the appointment request form.